I've seen a lot of news articles lately about family budgets. The Washington Post recently gave Tri-Cities top marks for how far paychecks can go (how affordable food, rent and other necessities are). Do you think people here are wise with their paychecks?

Spokane was recently the No. 20 city in the whole country for the amount of debt the average person owes (excluding mortgages!) Based on the cars people drive, the houses around here and the clothes people wear, I think Tri-Cities people are pretty frugal.

Because the cost of living is higher, someone in Seattle making twice as much as me might have the exact same lifestyle. Same home, same car, same balance at the end of the month.

A student at the University of Michigan is getting national attention for pointing out that even though his parents in Palo Alto make $250,000 a year, his family home in California is much smaller than average homes in Michigan. His dad wears much cheaper clothes than people in Michigan making $250,000. As a result, people in Palo Alto are more modest and frugal with their money even though their paychecks are much larger.